| Hong Kong's underlying inflation rate dropped to 1.3 percent in May, officials said Monday, due primarily to a decline in housing rent and charges for package tours. The year on year increase in the consumer price index, the main gauge for inflation, was 1.9 percent in April and 2.6 percent in March, the Census and Statistics Department said in a statement. The biggest year on year increases for the various items were for alcoholic beverages and tobacco, up 22.6 percent. Electricity, gas and water, the heaviest fall of 42.7 percent, as a result of state subsidy for electricity cost. A government spokesman said inflation in May fell further back than the local and external pressure on prices was “part of the adjustment process in the midst of the severe global economic downturn.” The spokesman added that taking into account the current economic climate and inflationary pressures would remain weak in the near future. |
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